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Pearls gave Rs 9,500 crore as agents' commission: CBI

PTI 07 Apr 2016, 20:15:09 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Pearls group Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and accomplices cheated investors to the tune of Rs 45,000 crore through 23 lakh agents who received Rs 9500 crore as commission to lure over five crore investors, CBI has alleged in its charge sheet filed today.

CBI sources said these agents, which included 1700 senior executives, worked in a multi-level marketing mode, received a commission of a whopping over Rs 9500 crore between 1996 and 2012 for allegedly luring the gullible investors to deposit in their schemes.

The charge sheet was filed here before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Charu Aggarwal who took cognisance of it and fixed the matter for scrutiny of documents on April 21.

The sources said agents worked in 11 level pyramid with those at top levels earning in lakhs as commission.

According to the sources, the companies-- PACL and PGF-- claimed investors would be given agricultural land in return of their deposits with the company. Once deposits were made, the company promised to provide investors with an allotment letter within 90 to 270 days.

The company allegedly provided these allotment letters to the investors with the condition that it reserved the right to change the location of the land allotted to them any time. The investors were allotted land in Medak in Andhra Pradesh and Ajmer and Bikaner in Rajasthan.

The sources, quoting from the charge sheet, said the companies allegedly kept allotting land which did not belong to them through the allotment letters issued to the investors.

Large number of investors did not get their promised investment back.

The sources said Bhangoo through his executives, and relatives allegedly created front companies which entered in benami deals of properties. This was allegedly done to evade the sealing of land which can be held by a company or an individual, they said.

They claimed the company also used the modus operandi to evade stamp duty.

CBI also informed the court that it is keeping the investigation open. The agency is looking into alleged dealings of Bhangoo in Australia in which his daughter and son-in-law are also under its scanner.

Dealings of Pearls group in property business in Australia which included a hotel in Gold Coast area and transactions in Dubai are being probed, the sources said.

CBI has not given details of property the documents of which were recovered by it during the searches as these are still under investigation.

The sources said the agency has managed to seize 20,000 documents related to properties whose purchase value was estimated at Rs 5,000 crore.

Bhangoo, CMD of Pearls Golden Forest Ltd (PGF) and ex-Chairman of Pearls Australasia Pty Limited, along with Sukhdev Singh, MD and Promoter-Director of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL), Gurmeet Singh, Executive Director (Finance) and Subrata Bhattacharya, ED in the PGF/PACL were arrested by CBI in connection with the scam.